Today co-host Hoda Kotb feels for Brian Williams in the midst of the Iraq War controversy. Us Weekly reports that Kotb told Fox 411 News that she knows Brian Williams is “devastated” over what’s happened since it leaked he misled the American public for 12 years into believing that he was shot down on a helicopter during the Iraq War in 2003.
Kotb explains that Williams is going through a lot right now.
“I love Brian. I’ve known him for many years and I know that he is devastated after what happened and I think the whole news organization feels horrible about what happened.”
The lies are affecting everyone at NBC. Colleagues of Williams’ are having a hard time wrapping their heads around circumstances behind his 6-month suspension. The 55-year-old anchor of NBC Nightly News will be off work without pay during his suspension. Lester Holt is stepping in while he is away. It’s unclear if he’ll return, but the network recognizes that Brian’s story about being on a helicopter that was shot down discredits not just himself, but the network as well.
Kotb reveals that it’s been difficult for everyone at the network and are curious about what the future is holding at NBC for Brian Williams.
“… We’re sort of going to let NBC deal with it. It is a news organization and it’s important to all of us and we’re going to see what they do next.”
NBC Universal CEO Steve Burke sent out a memo pertaining to Williams’ suspension, which staff received Tuesday evening.
“This has been a painful period for all concerned and we appreciate your patience while we gathered the available facts. By his actions, Brian has jeopardized the trust millions of Americans place in NBC News. His actions are inexcusable and this suspension is severe and appropriate.”
Burke added this to the NBC News staff memo: “Brian’s life’s work is delivering the news. We are rooting for him.”
Williams apologized to viewers last Wednesday night about his claims of being shot down in Iraq back in 2003. The truth came out in Stars and Stripes after he was called out by military personnel who were present during Williams’ assignment on the helicopter. Americans in another chopper were shot down, and Williams was in a separate helicopter from the one he alleged to be in. Several sources have confirmed that his allegations were false. Brian Williams has since given an interview to the military news site that can be read here.
[Photo Credit: AP/Wireimage via Page Six]